Bhagavati Amman Temple
As ancient as 3000 years, it is dedicated to the virgin Goddess Kumariamman, who stands an eternal vigil on its shores facing the east.
She stands as a charming Kanya [young girl] with a rosary in her hand in the posture of penance. The idol is believed to have been installed by Sage Parasurama.
The nose ring of the goddess has brilliant rubies, so bright that it is said that one ship mistook it as a lighthouse and wrecked itself banging against a rock. The mast of the wreckage was seen near the shore till the Tsunami that struck the shores in 2004, and was washed away in the devastation.
Built in 1970, this is a memorial for the charismatic philosopher Swami Vivekananda. He is supposed to have attained sainthood here. Legends say that Goddess Kumari performed tapas to Lord Shiva here. And, just next to the rock, there is a shripada [divine footprint of the Goddesses feet].
Poet saint Tiruvalluvar composed numerous epithets on the aspect of right conduct. The 95-foot Statue that represent the chapters of “Wealth” and “Pleasure” is erected on a 38-foot pedestal which represents the 38 chapters of "Virtue" in the Thirukkural.
The ashes of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, were kept here in 1948, in an urn for the public homage, and a part of it was immersed in Koodal, at the confluence of three oceans. What’s interesting is that on the 2nd of October every year, the sun’s ray falls on the exact spot where the urn was kept before immersion.
Gandhiji visited Kanyakumari in 1925 and 1937.
Kamaraj Memorial at Kanyakumari
This memorial is a tribute to a man who was mercurial in his vision and was loved for his simplicity. Called the Black Gandhi, Kamaraj was humility personified.
Established in 1991 as a multipurpose Museum, it has a good collection of sculptured artefacts and special crafts of South Indian Temples. Visitors to the museum can enjoy the extensive display of exhibits.
This 1000-year temple, built by Raja Raja Cholan, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. There are 16 inscriptions found here that date back to the 11th Century. The visitors to this temple are not just devotees but historians as well.
This peaceful ashram is the headquarters of the Vivekananda Kendra and, devoted to the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. It offers a variety of yoga retreats.
The Kids Park
Just a km away from Kanyakumari Town near the new bus terminus on the Kovalam road.
A Water Theme Park, located near Sunset Point.
Vattakottai [or Circular Fort]
This used to be the coastal defence fortification and barracks of Travancore during Marthanda Varma’s reign in the 18th Century. The black sand on the beach near the fort is one of the area’s special highlights.
There’s a temple here called the Thanumalayan Temple that’s of great fame - Stanu [Shiva], Mal [Vishnu] & Aya [Brahma]. It is a temple that was built in the 17th Century for Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.
A huge 22-foot statue of Hanuman, carved out of a single block, is stunning. There are around 30 shrines of various deities in this complex.
Nagaraja [Serpent God] is the presiding deity of this temple. Idols of Lord Siva and Ananthakrishna are also enshrined here.
St. Xavier’s Church
While St. Francis Xavier was doing his missionary work, he averted an invasion from the outside with the help of an army of local communities and protected the kingdom from attack. In appreciation, King Unni Kerala Varma allotted him a piece of land to construct a church. This church is said to have been built in 1600, and it was raised to the state of a cathedral in 1930.
This was one of the most important military barracks of the Travancore rulers. Originally built in the 17th Century, it was rebuilt by King Marthanda Varma in the 18th Century under the supervision of Dutch General De Lennoy who served as Chief of the Travancore army. The Tomb in memory of Dutch General De Lennoy, one of the most trusted generals of the king, lies in this fort.
This was also known as the Kalkulam Palace and used to be the capital of Travancore till 1798. The palace has grand woodwork and a display of antiques and armoury of the royal family.
Peer Mohamed Dargah, Thuckalay
This Sufi philosopher & Tamil poet was born in Tenkasi but came to Thuckalay to stay on permanently. He had a very close relationship with the rulers of Travancore and wrote many books on philosophy.
This Dargah is named as “Peer Mohammed Oliyullah” after the Great Philosopher Mohammed Appa.
Earlier known as Thirucharanthupalli, it was the place where Jain monks of the Digambara sect were stationed. Locally called as Chokanthoongi Hills, this cave was converted into a Bhagavathi Temple around the 13th Century.
This 300-foot waterfall has a rush of water through 7 months in a year. It also houses a temple called Mahadevar Kovil, which was built around the 9th Century.
Constructed in 1969, this is the tallest and longest trough bridge in India.
With glistening white sand and high dunes, the waters here are shallow and ideal for swimming. It has a viewing tower and rest facilities.
Planned and built between 1897 and 1906, this dam is surrounded by the Western Ghats and gives excellent photo opportunities for tourists.
Its calm waters are ideal for swimming, and the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is visible from here.
Mandaikadu Bhagavathi Amman Temple
Dating back to the 7th Century, this temple has been built in Kerala style architecture. It is said that his holiness, Shankaracharya, had performed the Sri Chakra puja here with his disciples from Kerala. The Bhagavathi Amman in this temple is in the form of a 15-foot anthill. This temple is known as the Sabarimala for women.
For those who love peace and quiet, here’s a tiny, calm village with a romantic sea shore.
This majestic beach looks splendid because of its rugged seashore and a beautiful rock jutting out into the sea.
This scenic waterfall is a great trekking path as well. It has a small temple in reverence of sage Agastya.
Built on a 200 feet hillock, this temple for Lord Murugan is at the foot of the Veliamalai hills. The temple is architecturally very beautiful and the nearby lake is a boating attraction.